The Elim Pentecostal Church was founded in 1915 by George Jeffreys, a remarkable healing evangelist who made national headlines by holding missions in some of the largest auditoria in Britain, meetings at which countless people came to faith in Christ and were physically healed. In 1931, Jeffreys held a mission in Braintree, using a large tent for the purpose, and a church was established.
Over the decades since then, the church has been led by about a dozen different ministers. One minister actually managed to hold office in the church twice. The longest serving minister was Pastor Graham Knight (now retired, but still actively involved in the church), who was its minister from 1976 to 2004.
Over the decades, the church has grown numerically. This growth has been enabled, not only by steady leadership and pastoral care, but also by a number of significant missions, mirroring how the church started and continuing its focus on taking the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have not yet come to know Him.
Initially, the church met in the Braintree Co-op hall, above where the Argos shop is presently situated. However, early in its history it was able to purchase its present building in Manor Street. This building dates back to 1866. To begin with it housed a Methodist Church, and during this period one of its visiting preachers was Dr David Livingstone. Prior to the Second World War the building was obtained by Elim. It has been greatly extended and improved over the years. The first extension, in 1952, was a simple ‘lean-to’ structure, providing a small kitchen and classroom. This has since been further developed at different times, until in 2006-2007 it was made two storeys high, with stairs accessing the new upstairs rooms and the balcony with its forty or more seats. The interior is now impressive: neat, bright and spacious, it provides a welcoming atmosphere for Christians and other interested people as they gather in worship on Sundays, as well as for the various groups who use the building through the week.